Although finding a house has a lot of fun and exciting aspects, there are definitely less glamorous aspects as well. For instance- the home inspection. We didn’t know much about the inspection process, so we were pretty shocked at the length of the list of issues in the house. After talking to a few friends, I felt reassured that such lengthy lists were normal, especially when dealing with a house that was built in the 50s.
After we absorbed the initial shock of the inspection list, we had a call with our real estate agent to go over our must haves and asks. We would submit a list of the things we wanted fixed or credited and they would get back to us with what they could or couldn’t do.
Our agent advised us not to ask for too much. Since the DMV area is a sellers market, buyers can get very competitive, often offering tens of thousands above list price to make sure they get the house. Although there was another buyer in the picture, we didn’t feel threatened enough to be too conservative in our asks. From our perspective, we had shown good faith by offering full list price, now we wanted the seller to show some good faith back as well.
We asked for all the major things on the list to be repaired: the HVAC issues, the plumbing issue, the electric issues and the chimney. The buyers came back and told us to shove it. Just kidding. They were willing to work with us but didn’t want to take on all of the work since they were both older and looking to unload the house quickly. They agreed that our agent could bring in someone to prepare an estimate for all the work that would need to be done. After we had that estimate, we went back to the buyers. They initially came back with a lower number but this time we held firm and were eventually able to get most of it.
The inspection is a wonderful tool for a buyer. I had such peace of mind after getting it and since most of the things aren’t very major, we can work through them on our own timeline. Get an inspector that comes highly recommended and is experienced. The inspector is worth every cent you pay because most likely you will get far more than you paid him or her in your negotiations with the seller.